February is supposed to be a cold and dreary month with the bloom of love that is Valentines Day right in the middle of it. However for Lucy and James their decision to have a late winter wedding at The Slaughters Manor House proved to be a great choice. The weather was incredible! It was warm enough to forgo coats and the warmth of the sun drenched the Cotswold stone buildings, lighting them up as if it were a late summers afternoon in the south of France!
Here is the Wedding Story of Lucy and James in their own words, with some Nikki’s Notes thrown in as you would expect… Enjoy!
The Early days…
Q: How did you meet?
A: We met in a café in Clapham on a cold wet Sunday. After a few cups of coffee, James suggested a walk around the common. It was freezing but I agreed to go anyway just to spend a bit more time with him.
Q: How long after you first got together did you get engaged?
A: It’s been quite a whirlwind of a relationship so far- James moved in with me after about 6 or 7 months and asked me to marry him just 3 months after that! So we’d been together for 10 months by the time we got engaged.
Popping the Question…
Q: Who proposed? How, when, where?:
A: James asked me when we were at home, which was lovely and low key and perfect, as he knew I wouldn’t have wanted a big fuss or for it to have been in public! I knew James was thinking pretty seriously about asking me, because he had been (rather unsubtly) steering me towards jewellery departments! But I had no idea that it would be quite so soon and, when he did it, I had no idea that he’d already bought the ring and already asked my dad.
Groom’s suit: Hugo Boss
Nikki’s Notes: I love the Billiard Room at The Slaughters Manor House; perfect for some down time before the big moment!
Setting the Scene..
Q: What attracted you to the venue/s you chose for the day?
A: The Slaughters Manor is a beautiful, traditional, old manor house, but the inside is modern and really nicely decorated so it just felt perfect. We felt really comfortable and relaxed there plus it had such great options for a smaller, more intimate ceremony which is what we wanted.
Q: What was your style of bouquet/flowers used?
A: The Broadway Florist, quite traditional and really beautiful! Shelley convinced us to go with bouquets rather than a long centre piece and they were just perfect-plus we were able to give them away as presents to our guests at the end of the night.
Nikki’s Notes: The in the moment documentary images are ones I love taking as much as the more dramatic and romantic couple shots. Its those moments that help you remember little things that were said.
Looking the Part…
Q: What dress did you wear?
A: I went for a bardot-style mid length dress. As it wasn’t a huge ceremony, I didn’t think I could get away with a really big princess dress (not that that style is me at all!) and this dress felt really fun and I could move in it and felt really comfortable in it…which turned out to be quite important in the end!!
Nikki’s Notes: Lucy and James had opted for a very intimate wedding ceremony and celebration. How wonderfully relaxed for all of their guests to be able to sit on sofas and comfy chairs for the ceremony!
Nikki’s Notes: I think its so important to remember all of the small details, including the readings you had as part of your photography. It all helps to create your Wedding Story.
Nikki’s Notes: This little one helped with the rings; hugely exciting at that age!
Nikki’s Notes: Just look at her gorgeous excited little face! Seriously cute!
Q: What outfit did James wear?
A: James wore a really nice navy 3 piece suit from Hugo Boss. We were actually together when he tried it on- I nearly cried! When the man in the shop asked him how he felt, James said ‘Like I’m getting married!’ I was way more emotional about that than about choosing my dress.
Nikki’s Notes: I always look for the detail in images I take and the bigger picture. I clocked (pun intended!) that you could see the clock tower from the window as they signed the register. I created a wider angle shot to showcase this. This captures the exact time and place for them.
Q: Tell me about the Flowers…
A: For flowers we went quite traditional- lots of white and green. Shelley from The Broadway Florist did an amazing job.
Nikki’s Notes: Group shots can be fun as well as documenting a moment the family comes together. I love this one of Lucy and her sisters below.
“Thank you so much Nikki for being such a key part of our big day.
From the moment we met you, you really put us at ease and made us feel so relaxed and we are absolutely thrilled with the photographs- they are gorgeous!!
The hotel recommended you as a fantastic wedding photographer and it’s easy to see why.
You have a real gift for finding those natural shots and for knowing what shots will work.
Thank you ever so much!”
Nikki’s Notes: Lower Slaughter really is a very special place in every season. Stunning scenery in a quintessentially Cotswold village setting. Its everything you expect and so much more…
Q: How did you both feel on the day?
A: Actually remarkably calm- I think because we were staying at the hotel for 3 nights, it felt like a little mini break. We were so lucky with the weather too!
It was a really small and intimate ceremony with just our close family so there wasn’t really anything to feel nervous about. We were quite excited the night before though and I don’t think either of us slept very well!
Nikki’s Notes… Unbeknown to me I was just about to be let in on some magical news! Lucy and James were chuckling away, unable to contain their excitement. I of course had to ask what was going on…?!
“The ceremony and the readings were lovely and I loved my dad’s speech but probably the most memorable part for both of us was during James’ speech when we told our families that we are actually expecting a baby in September! That was quite a moment!” Lucy
Nikki’s Notes… What an absolute joy to share in their wonderful news and to take the very first official portrait of the three of them! It’s a memory I will treasure.
Q: Where did you go?
A: The honeymoon is very much TO BE CONFIRMED. We have a baby on the way and are considering moving house and out of London so we’ll have to see if there is any money left over for a honeymoon!!
Time to Celebrate…
Q: How did you entertain your guests?
A: We had a champagne reception and canapes in the library, lots of photos outside in the sunshine, dinner in the Oxford room and then drinks and coffees and some games of snooker in the billiard room. We had 4 young children at the wedding and they were kept endlessly entertained with the Polaroid camera we had!
Q: What was your wedding breakfast like and tell me more about those wedding favours…?
A: We’d opted for a 5 course wedding breakfast and so didn’t have a wedding cake as well. But we had some really fun, individualised iced biscuits from Biscuiteers in Clapham as favours and these were great!
Their Wedding Dream Team:
Photographer: Nikki Kirk
Venue: Slaughters Manor House
Bridal Gown: White Ivory Lace Bardot Bridal Dress from Debut
Makeup and bridal hair: Lucie Richmond
Engagement and wedding rings from Tiffanys
Lucy’s Bracelet: Pandora
Earrings: Lucy’s ‘something borrowed’ from her friend Rachel
Flowers: The Broadway Florist
Wedding Favours: The Biscuiteers